Hello friends and family,
It was a long frustrating day for the family…
Yesterday, after visiting the ICBF office, changing last names on birth certificates, and getting an ID card for big brother, we were ready to visit the Colombian passport office to get passports for each of the kids.
We had a very efficient morning getting the kids ready for the day and left the apartment at 8:30. We got to the passport office, and waited in a big room. After a little while, we got to wait in a smaller room. From there, the children went, one by one, into a cubical where they process the passports. I stayed in the cubical, handing over paperwork and putting my right index finger over the scanner when the man said “listo”. The kids each got their picture taken, not smiling (because they are suppose to not smile… not sure why). They all did very well waiting in rooms and not disturbing other guests. A security guard did tell Beth that she could not let little brother “chee-chee” in the ladies´ room on the second floor right before the “juice got loose”. He definitely had to pack up his business and Beth took him downstairs to the main restroom. Passports ready at 3:00 pm. Perfect.
We then went to a gift shop so I could by a Colombian flag to hang proudly by our US flag at home. After I quickly ran in and made my purchase, I made the mistake of telling Beth, “They have some pretty cool stuff in there. Before we had five kids, it would be the kind of place we could browse around for hours.” Beth and Mom then took all my money and left me in the car with 5 kids for nearly an hour. I didn´t complain a whole lot because Beth and Mom had to wait in the car with the kids a bunch yesterday. Don’t worry, it is overcast and 60 deg. F here, so sitting in the car for an hour doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in Texas. The kids were great playing with their cars and flippy frogs (thank you, Gladney friends! I have no idea why the flippy frogs are such a hit, but they are).
We got home around 11:15, put on a movie for the older kids, and Darth and I were put down for a nap. I woke up a little crankier than she did, but it was because of the late night scrubbing floors for our landlord. Here’s proof:
After lunch, we headed back to get our passports. Mom, Beth, and the kids waited in the car while I was suppose to run in and grab them quickly. Unfortunately, we had to wait an hour. During that hour, a lady informs us, if I understood correctly, that the printer at their office pooped out between Little Brother’s and Darth’s passport, so they can only give us four passports today, and we can pick up Darth’s tomorrow morning (insert Debby Downer noise here).
We decided we would go to the doctor’s office anyway and ask him to check out all the kids this evening. Tomorrow, after we pick up the passport, we will visit him again and have him fill in the blanks on the last form. Fortunately he agreed. For the next two hours, my Mom had to wait out on the lobby with the kids while we talked to the doctor. This was pretty hard for her since she knows very little Spanish. Afterwards, she told me that she said “no mas” about a thousand times cause that’s all she could think to say.
This evening, our lawyer friend, Lucy, calls and tells us that the group in charge of adoption visas at the US Embassy is moving offices, and they will not be processing any visas tomorrow (insert slightly worse Debby Downer noise here). She said she begged and begged the lady in charge, but she wouldn’t make any firm commitments. So, tomorrow, after we get our last passport, visit the doctor and get his paperwork, we are going to go to the US Embassy and wait to see if we can be processed, but Lucy, being as honest as she is, told us that it doesn’t look good. If we don’t get in tomorrow, we wait until Monday. Sounds like a lot more of sitting in the car!
Further, we are trying to buy cheap plane tickets, so in order to do that, my friend at American Airlines tells me that we can save $300 a ticket for the kids if we book three days in advance with non-refundable tickets. $300 times 5 is a pretty big number (very soon I’ll be teaching college math), so we really would like to do that. Also, she tells us it is pretty hard to find tickets around the weekends so it is looking like the soonest we will be home is the middle of next week (insert even worse Debby Downer noise here).
We super-duper miss home. We feel like that “Quantum Leap” guy that keeps living other people´s lives while he longs to be home living his own life (Only children of the 80’s and before should appreciate that reference). We’ll get there eventually. Thanks for all the love and prayer.
At the dinnermesa,